Home World Asia News Gu Kailai Death Sentence Commuted to Life in Prison

Gu Kailai Death Sentence Commuted to Life in Prison

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A Beijing court has commuted the suspended death sentence of Bo Xilai’s wife, Gu Kailai, to life in prison.

The court said Gu Kailai showed repentance and “did not commit any crimes” in jail.

Gu Kailai was sentenced in 2012 for murdering British businessman Neil Heywood.

Disgraced former Politburo member Bo Xilai was jailed for life in 2013 for corruption and abuse of power. The cases were China’s biggest political scandal in years.

“The aforementioned criminal has recently certainly shown repentance,” the court said, adding that Gu Kailai had practiced “thought, culture and technical study.”

The statement was dated December 11 but released only on December 14.Gu Kailai death sentence commuted

The document also said that Gu Kailai had “obeyed discipline”, and “completed labor tasks in a timely manner”. As a result she was “eligible for the legal conditions for a commutation”.

Correspondents say with good behavior suspended death sentences are usually commuted to life in prison in China.

Gu Kailai’s case was one among several public notices soliciting public objections to reduced sentences.

The other two were former electronics tycoon Huang Guangyu, who was convicted of bribery; and Liu Zhijun, former railways minister who was previously given a suspended death sentence for taking bribes and was partly blamed for a fatal bullet train crash in 2011.

Public consultation for Huang Guangyu closes on December 15.

The notices for both Gu Kailai and Liu Zhijun were published on the Supreme People’s Court website last month, but were only reported by local media on December 14, several weeks after the end of the consultation period.

The cases were reported shortly after the trial opened of one of China’s leading human rights lawyers, Pu Zhiqiang, in Beijing. That trial attracted considerable international attention, particularly after plainclothes security officials aggressively manhandled journalists, diplomats and protesters gathered outside the court.


Gu Kailai’s case sparked the series of events which brought down her high-flying husband.

Bo Xilai was removed as Communist Party boss of the important metropolis of Chongqing in south-western China, and from the Politburo, which makes key party decisions, in 2012.

During his trial, Bo Xilai claimed that Gu Kailai – who testified against him – had gone insane.